If you don't know . . . ask .
Merriam-Webster defines ‘captain’ as: A leader of a group; someone in command – ex: the captain of a football team.
When we run with our Captains, they are in charge of the fun. “Go faster.” “Watch out for that bump.” “Pass that runner.”
Our runners simply take the Captains through the run route or race course – thus they are Navigators.
We do not have an upper or lower age limit for our Captains. They range in age from as young as 4 up into adult years. We do have larger custom carts for Captains who are taller and need more leg room.
Navigators are adult runners who push the Captains in adaptive run carts during a run or a race. The ability to run a 5K distance is necessary. Each potential runner is interviewed to see if they are a good match for Team RunFree. A criminal background check is ordered for each new Navigator who joins our team. Beyond that, the number one requirement is that their heart is totally devoted to giving their Captain the best possible run experience. Fast, slow - it doesn't matter, and race results are not important. Sharing the joy of the run with our Captains and giving them a great, fun run is our top priority. They are indeed 'the heart behind the cart' .
The safety of our Captains is extremely important to us. Each adult runner (Navigator) must submit to a thorough criminal background check. Our Navigators are never alone with the Captain. In a public setting such as a 5K , we do allow one Navigator per cart. For all other runs, two certified Navigators run with each child. Parents/guardians provide transportation to the events, and they also place and buckle their child into the run cart. The carts are larger, have a wide wheelbase and are extremely stable on even the fastest runs. In addition, we equip each run cart with a first aid kit. Finally, we make sure that our Navigators clearly understand that the child comes first, and no reckless activity is permitted with the run carts.
Yes. Team RunFree is a 501c3 nonprofit organization and all donations are tax deductible. We do issue end-of-year donor receipts for identified donors.
We maintain a very low overhead, and a high percent of each dollar is spent on serving our Captains and their families. We are 100% volunteer driven and have no salary expenses. Beyond normal expenses such as insurance, supplies, cart storage and our website, the majority of funds are used for race entry fees and purchase and maintainence of our run carts. With an average 5K race entry fee of $30 per Captain/Navigator team, this expense will increase as we serve more and more Captains. As we grow, more run carts will be needed. We strive to wisely use each dollar we receive.
There is no cost to our Captains and Navigators. Team RunFree pays all race entry fees. For Navigators, we pay for the background check and provide a team shirt for races.